Mario Joins Meatless Monday Movement

Categories: The Critic
Lee Klein
Come Monday, just say no.
It's not quite as dramatic a step as it sounds: Every Monday, each of Batali's establishments will proffer at least two vegetarian options, be it entrees, pastas, pizzas, or whatnot (and we hear he makes an incredible vegan whatnot).These dishes will be designated as Meatless Monday options. The idea is to simply encourage folks to try a vegetable-based one day a week. As we say, not that big a deal, but it puts the influential Mario into the column of conscientious culinarians.

"The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet," says Batali.

"Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn't a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That's why I'm such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement."

So are other Meatless Monday movement members: Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell, Gwyneth Paltrow, the Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses, 100 blogs (make that 101), and eight international programs spanning from Brazil to Taiwan. Meatless Monday is a non-profit backed by The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal is to reduce America's meat consumption by 15 percent.

I don't see many chefs or restaurants on that list -- local or otherwise. And I certainly don't see the Miami-Dade Public School System listed. How about it? Doesn't appear to cost any money to join, and in doing so surely the odds of getting Gwyneth Paltrow's autograph will greatly increase.

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